Express Newsline report, 20.08.06:

Coming soon: Delhi's most expensive, exclusive address

Tehkhand, a public-pvt partnership project, will house
500 families; cost of flat will touch Rs 7.5 cr

claims the project is green-lighted because the
court-order for (post-notification hearing and
speaking order by a Board as per Rule 8 of) my
objections to land use change of district park after
deciding to auction it to builders for pilot-project
for slum housing has been complied with. Logically,
that could mean either that my objections were trivial
or that I got co-opted. Now I am really aggrieved!  

Text of my letter dt 21.08.06 to DDA VC

Dear Sir,
As per the enclosed news item:
"...Over the next two weeks, DDA and Kenneth Builders
will sign an MoU that will enable work on this project
near Okhla to begin. Says B S Jaglan, director land
(residential), DDA: "The MoU should happen within this
month and work will begin soon after." A case filed in
the Delhi High Court challenging that the change in
land use from recreational (district park) to
residential was illegal and should be quashed, had
held up the project so far.
Justice S Ravindra Bhat, while disposing of the
petition, directed the DDA to "consider the
objections". According to Jaglan, "After complying
with court directions, DDA has the green light for the
project.''... "

As DDA is aware, neither was WP(C) 6824-25/2006
limited to failure to dispose off my objections nor
was the order dt 30.05.06 limited to their
consideration. By my letter dt 26.06.06 to Pr
Commissioner/Secretary, with copies to yourself and EM
(Chairman of the Board that heard me) and to the other
respondents in the petition, I had made clear my view
that the direction for my objections had not been
complied with, as under:
"...I was given hearing on 09/06/06. Vide letter dated
14/06/06 copy of the proceedings of the Board was sent
to me, from which it is clear that the Board has
decided not to find any infirmity in the final
notification dated 23/02/05, but not clear how my
objections have been addressed / considered and also
how the constitution / composition of the Board was in
accordance with Rule 8. In other words, order dated
30/05/06 has not been complied with.
Accordingly, I have filed on 26/06/06, an
Application... "

By my letter dt 18.07.06 to Engineer Member with copy
to yourself I had informed and requested as follows:
"On 04.07.06 the Hon'ble Court declined to hear the
same in / by restoring the original matter. I was
given liberty to approach with a fresh petition.
I have since been trying to identify a course of
action consistent with my perceptions of my
professional duty of care and of my rights and
responsibilities under s.11A of Delhi Development Act.
I do not have the wisdom or experience to make a
balanced assessment in such peculiar circumstances and
I beg your indulgence of a peculiar request: Please
agree to decide the application I had made to the
Hon'ble Court as a representation for review to
yourself as Chairman of the Board that heard me.
Please give me an opportunity to meet you about this.
This is also in view of the judgment that Hon'ble High
Court pronounced on 14.07.06 in the Arjun Camp cases -
viz, WP(C) 5007/02 (Jagdish & Ors v/s DDA) and WP(C)
5009/02 (Bansraj & Ors v/s DDA) - that are mentioned
in and closely related to my objections as well as to
WP 6824-25/06 (in which also they were mentioned)... "

On 27.07.06 I had met with Engineer Member and with
yourself and expressed my dissatisfaction with the
Speaking Order / Board composition. I had also
mentioned that Petitioner no.1 has different interest
in the specific matters. On 28.07.06 the Board heard
objections/suggestions on the Public Notice for land
use change at Madanpur Khadar. I learn from Petitioner
no.1 that he had expressed also his dissatisfaction
with the course of events in the Tehkhand matter.
Thereafter, at instance of Petitioner no.1 I was
invited to discussions about these matters with the
affected communities who had obtained a certified copy
of the judgment in WP(C) 5007&5009/2002. Since Ms
Paul, whom you had asked at the meeting on 27.07.06 to
revert to me had not got in touch, I called your
office to enquire if DDA had received a copy. Mr
Rajesh Mishra told me it had and the same had been
examined. I then wrote to you a letter dt 10.08.06
requesting information of the decision on my request
for review of the speaking order apropos Tehkhand,
actions/decisions apropos directions dt 14.07.06 and
outcome of the hearing on 28.07.06. I have had no
response as yet. I also have no information of the
outcome of the inquiry / proceedings into the matter
of 'misplacing' of my Tehkhand objections, which I had
also sought under RTI with reference to DDA
counter-affidavit dt 26.05.06.  Meanwhile, related RTI
matters, through which also both Petitioner no.1 and I
have expressed our respective concerns about Tehkhand,
have been progressing.

Now Mr BS Jaglan has claimed, in press, compliance of
the direction to 'consider my objections' in
justification of imminent MOU with Kenneth Builders.
It is pertinent that one of my objections was
inconsistency with counter-affidavits filed on behalf
of the DDA in 2003-2004. Mr BS Jaglan had sworn one of
those counter-affidavits. It is also pertinent that I
have declined to speak with the press in pendency of
my request for review of the speaking order, to which
Mr BS Jaglan has made no reference while expressing
views that do cast aspersions on either my competency
or my integrity.

Meanwhile, in the settlement of Petitioner no.1 on
17.08.06 leaders / workers of the Congress and the
Left and on 20.08.06 leaders / workers of the BJP have
held public meetings to similarly obfuscate issues,
with more direct personal allegations (such as were
also leveled at me in DDA counter-affidavit in the
Tehkhand matter). On 12.08.06 at an ITPI seminar on
the implications of Tejinder Khanna Committee report,
EFN Ribiero of TKC pressed his view that MPD has no
provisions for housing the poor, although the same is
inaccurate and was rejected by the Planning Commission
Committee in 2001 in which I was also allowed to
participate as an expert (and the report of which is
mentioned in my objections to the Tehkhand project).
On 20.08.06 press has also reported on a recent report
on resettlement areas by Lok Sabha Standing Committee
on Urban Development, not yet published on Lok Sabha
website but apparently not taking into account issues
that I have been raising in the ambit of MPD and DD
Act since 2000, including before the Standing
Committee in 2003 in response to its public notice
inviting views on functioning of DDA (report of which
is mentioned in my objections to the Tehkhand

I do believe that I am badly aggrieved by the
exclusionary and insistent advocacy processes that are
constantly overtaking my duly expressed
objections/suggestions as a qualified and capable
planner specialized in housing. I request again:
1. a speaking order addressing each of the points in
my written submissions dt 09.06.06 for the compliance
that Mr BS Jaglan has claimed in press, along with
information about the inquiry into the 'misplacing' of
my objections;
2. information of the outcome of the consideration of
objections to the Public Notice for land use change at
Madanpur Khadar; and
3. information about DDA's actions/decisions for
compliance of the directions in judgment dt 14.07.06
in WP(C) 5007&5009/2002.  

Yours sincerely

Gita Dewan Verma, Planner

Sh Rajinder Singh, Petitioner no.1 in WP(C)
az plan